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California senator proposes checks for low-income, homeless high school seniors – Times-Herald

Author: Jeanne Kuang

As efforts to secure income support around California are emerging, a state-sponsored legislative program has focused on another population that should benefit: low-income high school seniors on the brink of adulthood.

State Senator Dave Cortese, a Democrat from Campbell, is backing the state bill to give 15,000 homeless high school seniors a check-free check from graduation time until college enrollment in the fall. or vocational school or their placement.

About 183,000 K-12 students in California were homeless in the 2020-21 school year, according to the California Department of Education.

The proposed legislation does not specify how much or how much the high school seniors would ask for payments. Cortese said the pilot expects the program to offer $ 1,000 checks a month for four or five months for the 2023 graduate class, which could cost the state about $ 85 million a year.

The legislation came out of the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday with little opposition and was addressed to the Senate Human Services Committee.

The bill came from an original idea to run a basic income program on selected California State University campuses, where nearly 11% of students reported being homeless in 2018.

Cortes said he is proposing for high school seniors to interfere with student grant calculations; bills can help students living in poverty rent an apartment or pay for food if they enroll in college, but there are no conditions for doing so.

Christina Torrez, a Bakersfield College student and former homeless receptionist at the institute, told lawmakers on Wednesday that a basic income program would allow students to concentrate on school.

“Honestly, school wasn’t important to me at the time, because I had to guess where I was going to eat, where I was going to sleep,” Torrez said. “What he does is allow a homeless young man to carry a full burden.”

This is the latest proposal to secure income for California, as several local governments have begun piloting it from 2019 to 2021 after a widespread experiment in Stockton from 2019 to 2021 giving $ 1,000 to 125 families per month.

The aim is to alleviate poverty and give recipients more flexibility to spend money than traditional social services offer. Critics have expressed concern that the checks would disrupt the work.

The first results of the Stockton study showed that full-time employment grew by 12% year-on-year and participants had less financial instability and improved health outcomes. Former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs is now an adviser to Governor Gavin Newsom.

Many local efforts are privately funded, but some cities are using federal COVID-19 support funds.

Last year, lawmakers put $ 35 million into the state budget to create the nation’s first-funded program. The California Department of Social Services is preparing to send checks to residents to allocate funds to cities and counties, prioritizing former foster parents or expectant mothers. It has not yet started taking orders.

Cortese said he is looking for ways to expand to other groups that may use a “soft landing” on the path to financial independence, such as high school seniors.

“My vision is to start installing a guaranteed income at the right time in a person’s life,” he said, avoiding the need to cycle through shelters.

“It feels a lot more like a movement,” Cortes said of statewide basic income. “I have to go back to each legislature and try to add another brick to the wall.”

This article is part of the California Divide project, a collaboration between newsrooms that study California income inequality and economic survival.

California senator proposes checks for low-income, homeless high school seniors – Times-Herald Source link California senator proposes checks for low-income, homeless high school seniors – Times-Herald

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